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Akron Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund unites nonprofit and public partners for charitable response to coronavirus

Mar 20, 2020

United Way of Summit County, the City of Akron, the County of Summit, Akron Public Schools, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Summit County Public Health and Summit County Job and Family Services have teamed up to create the Akron

Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund. The fund will provide immediate crisis relief by funding food and nutrition support, childcare assistance, housing and utility support and healthcare assistance for residents affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

With schools and businesses closing to slow the spread of COVID-19, many Summit County residents are struggling to afford increased childcare and food expenses, or to make up for lost work or reduced wages. 100 percent of donations collected through the Akron Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund will go toward crisis relief, and all will be distributed within Summit County.

Businesses, foundations and the general public are encouraged to contribute to the fund. Visit uwsummit.org/covid-19 to make a donation.

“A crisis like this one – which is reshaping nearly every aspect of daily life in our community – will require a coordinated philanthropic response,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit County. “We are thankful to our partners in local government, at Akron Public Schools, and at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, who will be working closely with us to ensure that these donations go to where they will make the biggest difference.”

“This is an unprecedented global health emergency, but the impacts of this event are extremely local and personal,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “In Akron and Summit County, we have a long history of taking care of our neighbors and stepping up in times of need – and this is no different.  This is our community’s chance to shine.  As Mayor, I am dedicated to maintaining public safety and services for residents during this crisis.  I strongly urge those residents and organizations, that are financially able, to contribute to this fund to provide help and hope to those most vulnerable among us.  The United Way of Summit County is the organization best suited to coordinate these crisis relief funds and I am grateful for the steady leadership of Jim Mullen and his dedicated team during this time of increased need.”

“Warmest thanks to the United Way for directing the food support gifts made to this Emergency Support Fund to the Foodbank,” said Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. “We are under enormous resource strain at a time when our services are most critical. Your support is vital.”

Key early support has come from the Akron Community Foundation, which pledged $25,000 toward the fund.

“We have to remember, we are all in this together,” said Mullen. “So long as we continue to build bridges and reach out to help one another, even in the midst of social distancing, I know we’ll find that this crisis is smaller than we are as a community.”

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